Pope Benedict XVI Resigns, February 11, 2013

pope-benedict-xvi-resignsOn NBC’s Today Show the correspondent from Rome mentions that this is first resignation of a Pope since Celestine V in 1294, who Dante may have been indicating when he referred to the sinner among the Undecided (Inferno 3) who made the “great refusal.”
Many other reporters and commentators discussing Benedict XVI’s resignation are also mentioning Dante’s supposed (but debated among scholars) placement of Celestine V in Hell. See, for example, Carol Zaleski’s piece in the New York Times, February 11, 2013.

Contributed by Julie Heyman

“The End of Limbo”

st-peters-rome-the-end-of-limbo“The Vatican announced on Friday the results of a papal investigation of the concept of limbo. Church doctrine now states that unbaptized babies can go to heaven instead of getting stuck somewhere between heaven and hell” [. . .]    –Michelle Tsai, Slate, April 23, 2007

Contributed by Zac Milner (Bowdoin, ’07)

Hell, the Musical

hell-the-musical

“The Vatican has challenged purist Roman Catholics by disclosing plans for a daring rock, punk and jazz opera version of Dante’s Divine Comedy with a soundtrack written by an avant-garde priest.
Monsignor Marco Frisina uses rock music as background for the Inferno, Gregorian chants for Purgatory and lyrical and symphonic classical and modern music for the advent of Paradise in the musical set to be staged in the autumn.
After a premier in a leading Rome theatre sponsored jointly by the Vatican and Italy’s two houses of parliament, the extravaganza will tour other major Italian and European cities ‘to bring back the attention of the widest public to Dante’s immortal poem,’ Riccardo Rossi, director general of Nova Ars, the company producing the opera, told La Repubblica newspaper.”    –John Phillips, The Independent, January 3, 2007

See also : La Divina Commedia home page.

Contributed by Gloria Smith; Patrick Molloy